New bid to stop skyscrapers at Yuen Long station site

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2007, 12:00am
 

Yuen Long residents are making a fresh attempt to block the erection of wall-like skyscrapers in a transitional area between the high-rise and low-rise areas of the new town. They say the buildings would 'destroy the fung shui of indigenous residents'.


Their application to rezone a 37,280 square metre site for 'government institution and community' use will be heard by the Town Planning Board's rural and new town planning committee tomorrow. The site, which includes land near the Yuen Long station on the KCR's West Rail line and the adjacent public transport interchange, is designated for commercial and residential development.


The board has rejected an application to have the site declared open space.


In their application, 165 residents say that building skyscrapers would be 'incompatible with the surrounding low-density traditional walled villages' and would 'destroy the fung shui of indigenous residents'.


The rezoning they seek would allow uses such as a public library, government office complex and recreational centre, history museum or multi-storey car park.


When it rejected the application to designate the site as open space in September, the board said the site was 'at the prime location of a strategic transport node' and there was already adequate local open space for residents of Yuen Long New Town.


The Planning Department does not support the latest application because it says the site is suitable for high-density residential development and 12 hectares of land has already been reserved for the development of local government facilities.


Lau Shui-chi, the department's chief town planner for urban design and landscapes, acknowledges that high-rise development 'will affect the gradual change of the existing residential development within the landscape character area'.


The Town Planning Board will also discuss an application by environmental group Green Sense to reduce the maximum plot ratio of a site in Hoi Fai Road, West Kowloon. The group is proposing a limit on building heights to minimise the heat island effect created when high-rises block air flow, allowing a build-up of heat and pollutants that prevents warm air rising and being cooled.


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